next stop: Taormina, Sicily
i’d already spent a full week in Taormina several years ago, otherwise i probably would have found this portion of the trip much more exciting. but as it was, despite Taormina being utterly beautiful, even on my first visit it already seemed a bit too touristy for me, so this time around it just sorta reminded me of The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas (hee ehee). but i must admit though, if you’re going to see a live concert performance, the ancient Greek theatre right next to the Hotel Grand Timeo must surely be the way to experience it (they host worldwide famous musicians all the time). so take that, Las Vegas.
anyway, having dined in so many Taormina restaurants on my last excursion, the very very very very fresh sashimi on Black Sea was undoubtedly a far superior meal. i forgot to mention Black Sea caught another big tuna off the coast of Lipari (so apparently we really did bring good luck after all)!
dinner at Il Paladino Taverna hosted by a very lovely couple we met in Taormina (more on that later). their 12 year old daughter was so adorable and friendly, even though she barely spoke Inglese she made a very big effort to engage us in conversation. she’s an aspiring fashion designer and she told me her "dream" is to come to New York and have breakfast at Starbucks just like Rachel Zoe. and she informed me much of the streets of Taormina are actually paved with "lava" from the nearby Mount Etna volcano. so then i was happy i’d bought a bracelet made out of lava rocks (from her parents’ shop) earlier in the evening.